A new Community Pontoon has been unveiled in Cheekpoint today.
The ceremony took place on the pier at 12, with the Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Councilor John O’Leary, hosting the official opening.
The pontoon provides safer access to the river for pedestrians and wheelchair users, while also providing 24 hour access for emergency services.
Before the new development, the large tidal range at Cheekpoint Quay restricted access to watercraft solely via vertical steel ladders or the original stone steps.
These had been proving difficult and restrictive for users, particularly those who had mobility issues.
Following a local Public Meeting in September 2018, a Committee was appointed to appraise the feasibility of a Community Pontoon with the goal of improving the safety aspect of embarking/disembarking watercraft.
The proposed Project was presented by that Committee to a Public Meeting in November 2018 following which, the formation of the Cheekpoint Boat Owner's Association took place in January 2019.
They immediately set about achieving the necessary regulatory requirements and securing funding for the project.
The project cost €260k. Funding was received from Leader, Port of Waterford, and a local Gain fund.The pontoon was completed on Friday 9th September 2022
Victor Whitty is Chairperson of the Boat Owner's Association and he told WLR that when nearing completion, inflation affected the final stages.
"The cost just went through the roof... We really got stung for rising costs, material costs," he said.
Victor says the pontoon couldn't have happened without the support of the community.
"The community got behind it from the word go," he told WLR.
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